What if your child was offered to try a little pill called “smiles”? It sounds harmless, right? At least that’s what some unsuspecting kids may believe. In all actuality, “Smiles” are one of many new “designer” drugs that are quickly becoming the next big thing in the world of narcotics and are far from harmless.
In fact, Smiles has been compared to LSD and crystal meth. They can cause hallucinations rapid heart beats and psychotic episodes. Because users have absolutely no idea of what these drugs are actually made of, they do not know how the drug will react with their bodies or even how much they can handle. There have already been several overdose deaths because users have taken too much or there was a disastrous affect when the drug mixed with other substances in their bodies.
What Are Designer Drugs?
There is a new category of drugs on the market today, known as “designer” or “synthetic” drugs. They are considered synthetic because they usually contain synthetic cathinones such as mephedrone. The most popular of these drugs include “bath salts” and synthetic marijuana. They can be purchased legally at head shops, online and independently owned gas stations for as little as ten dollars.
They are usually labeled as “bath salts” or “plant food”. They may resemble rocks or crystals and are usually smoked, snorted, swallowed or injected. Though bath salts have been labeled the most dangerous and unpredictable of all the synthetic drugs, Smiles are even more dangerous.
The Unknown Effects of Designer Drugs
Since designer drugs are so new there is little research that has been done on the effects, long term and short term, which they have on the body. It has been observed that they are highly addictive, especially the “bath salt” variety.
In fact, a study was recently done using mice showing the effects of “bath salts” as compared to cocaine. The results were clear: “bath salts” are just as addictive as cocaine, if not more. What we also know is that the use of these synthetic drugs is on the rise. In 2009, there were no calls made to the United States Poison Control Centers having to do with “bath salts” as opposed to the 302 calls received in 2010. Those numbers have jumped up markedly to 2,237 calls in 2012, between the months of January and May alone. On December 21, 2010, the American Association of Poison Control Centers issued the first advisory concerning synthetic drug abuse after over 156 “bath salt” affiliated calls had been received.
This is only the beginning of this epidemic and parents need to be made more aware of these new drugs in order to protect their children. This can be done through parent education in the home with children on the dangers of designer drugs like Smiles and others.
Parents should also make sure that education is also happening in the school setting to guard against Smiles addiction and designer drug use.
In the case that you believe your child or one of your child’s friends is experimenting with designer drugs, take action immediately.
There are many drug rehabilitation facilities that offer help and guidance concerning the abuse of drugs. But as stated before prevent is the first key in stopping the problem so remember to talk to your kids about the dangers of these new drugs so that they may be better prepared to make smart decisions if ever confronted with them.
For more information on Smiles, designer drug addiction or to get help for someone with a problem contact Narcononeastus.org today.